THE EUROPEAN Commission on Tuesday (Oct 26) gave its approval for the EU to import a genetically modified maize variety for human consumption.

The variety from Monsanto, called NK603, was approved by the commission for use in animal feed in July, said a commission statement.

“This decision not only reaffirms the findings of regulatory bodies throughout the world, it also reinforces the profound benefits and potential of this technology for growers and the environment,” said Jerry Hjelle, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Monsanto.

But Friends of the Earth is critical of the decision, believing the EC has insufficiently investigated the possibility of genetic modification causing allergies.

“This is a shameful final act by the out-going European Commission,” said Geert Ritsema, GM Coordinator for FoE Europe.

“Despite scientific disagreements over its safety and huge public rejection the Commission decided instead to put the interests of corporate America before the safety of Europeans.”

Although so-called ‘Roundup Ready Corn 2‘ can be grown in the US, the latest EC decision does not allow cultivation in the EU, Monsanto pointed out.